Burdock, Common (Arctium mimus)
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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Burdock, Common (Arctium mimus) -

(Burdock, Common - 01)  The actual size of the flowering head of the common burdock is about 1/2 inch across and is composed of many tiny tubular flowers which bloom on top of a globular collection of hooked bracts.




(Burdock, Common - 01a)  Once the flowers of the common burdock have been pollinated, they begin to dry up and fade away, as this one has.  As the seeds mature, the hooked bracts also dry and harden, and the connection to the plant becomes brittle, so that when the hooked bracts catch in the fur of an animal or on clothing, the seed pod will break away and spread the seeds elsewhere.  The hooked bracts of the burdock inspired George de Mestral, the Swiss engineer who invented Velcro, a mechanical fastening material, in 1948.


(Burdock, Common - 02)  The blooms of the burdock grow on short stalks which sprout from the leaf axils.  The flowering heads bloom from July through October; though, from our observations, the blooming of an individual plant covers a shorter time span.




(Burdock, Common - 02a)  Because of the annoyance of having the hooked seed pods stick to our clothing, we often fail to appreciate the beauty of the burdock flowers.  Perhaps God gave us this contrast of annoyance and beauty as an example of other life situations, that we'd learn to look beyond our daily annoyances to the beauty beyond, and live in peace with the whole of creation.




(Burdock, Common - 02b)  This is another close-up view of the many individual tubular flowers that form the flowering head of the common burdock.






(Burdock, Common - 02c)  These common burdock flowers have been pollinated and have begun to fade.






(Burdock, Common - 03)  The leaves of the common burdock are ovate-oblong, tapering to a point.  They grow alternately along all the stems of the plant.





(Burdock, Common - 04)  In this photo of the common burdock we can see the way the leaves grow alternately along the stems, with the flower stems sprouting from the leaf axils (the upper junction of the leaf with the stem).




(Burdock, Common - 05)  These are newly developing common burdock flowers.  At this stage of development, the hooked bracts are quite soft.





(Burdock, Common - 06)  These common burdock flowers are just beginning to open.







(Burdock, Common - 06a)  In this photo we can see other burdock flowers developing and the flower stalks growing from the leaf axils.






(Burdock, Common - 08)  This is a side view of a flowering head of a common burdock.  Believe it or not, early European settlers to the United States brought over the burdock for its food value.  The young leaves, stems, and roots are edible and very nutritious.  Under the name gobo, burdock is still cultivated for food by the Japanese farmers.






| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |

Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.

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